Marketing August 29, 2016 Last updated August 28th, 2016 4,570 Reads share

How To Sell Worthless Products And Useless Services

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It may seem counterproductive to sell a worthless product or a useless service but sometimes it’s necessary. Firstly, you have to define what a ‘useless’ product or service is. Sometimes it can be something that didn’t catch fire with your target audience the first time. Sometimes the market has moved on and you are left with a bunch of products and services you’re struggling to sell.

So what do you do about it?

You can still shift your inventory, but it requires you to think outside the box. Get your company’s unique tax reference, make sure you have your website up and running, and prepare your team for the marketing campaign of a lifetime.

Features and Benefits

A feature is something the product comes with and a benefit is something people want from the product. That’s a subtle difference you have to keep in mind here. Features and benefits are critical to any marketing campaign you run.

If your product’s features and benefits are no longer resonating with your target audience, you need to switch them out. Most products will only have one or two of its benefits actively promoted. So if they’re no longer gaining the traction necessary to sell its time to try some of those other benefits.

Your target audience may have shifted subtly and a change in emphasis could tip the balance your way.

Play on the Impulse Buy

A useless product or service will always struggle to sell if you give someone time to think about it. This is not about deceiving people. There are thousands of useless products on the market people buy all the time. These retailers have succeeded because they are not giving their audience much time to think about it.

Taking advantage of local SEO to grow your business faster will help because of how people are accessing your site. Making a search from a mobile device naturally means people don’t have a lot of time. They’re looking for an immediate result, and so they’re unlikely to carefully weigh up the pros and cons of purchasing something.

Invest in your local SEO campaign and drive people to buy as soon as possible. You can go even further than that through issuing time-sensitive offers and giving your landing pages a sense of urgency.

Use Others

The fact is word of mouth marketing is the most powerful form of marketing in the online world. People are more likely to listen to their fellow consumers than they are to you. If you are trying to sell something you have to leverage that. You can’t manufacture positive words, but you can encourage others to spread the word about your brand.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through guest blogging. Get them to post on your website and make sure your writing team is publishing blogs on other websites. This allows you to reach an entirely new audience. Plus, other bloggers give you an endorsement just by hosting you on your website.

Work with the right people and the general public will buy purely because the right person is telling them to buy.

So how do you get the right guest bloggers?

To vet guest bloggers without wasting time you have to answer a few key questions.

  1. Are they relevant to your industry?
  2. Is their following large enough to make it worthwhile?
  3. Do they have what it takes to work with you and promote your content on a regular basis?

These are the three key questions you should get answers to so you can make sure you get the right guest blogger for you.

Expand Your Audience

Sometimes a product or service loses its appeal because your audience has grown stale. There’s little you can do about this because once an audience grows stale you need to use something new to get them back. Sell a stale product through introducing it to a brand new audience.

A lot of companies believe the audience they have now is the only one interested in what they have to offer. This isn’t the case at all. Performing a little shift can make your product or service seem completely new to a new set of people. It can restart sales and ensure the money will continue to roll in.

What if Your Product Has Completely Crashed?

Companies find themselves in a position where their product has crash landed and there’s little they can do about it. There are products and services you won’t be able to salvage. If they have problems with them you most certainly won’t be able to salvage them, nor should you if you want to protect your online reputation.

Once your product has completely crashed you may need to consider throwing it to one side and moving onto the next thing. There’s nothing wrong with doing this because you’ll keep your current audience engaged and you’ll create a buzz.

You have to make an educated decision about this. The only way you can do that is through going to your customers and asking them what they want. You also have to put your feelers out to the audiences you haven’t yet expanded to. If there’s no interest, there’s no interest.

Can You Launch a Useless Product or Service Again Later?

The popular line of thinking is that the general public has a short memory. That memory is so short you can easily wait a year or two and launch a previous product again later. All you would have to do is rebrand it and you could begin making sales again.

Organizations have done this before, but it’s far from recommended. The problem you have is the reason the product went stale in the first place. If it crashed and burned because there was something wrong with it, you have no hope of launching it again. You don’t want to destroy your brand in the process because you tried to push a product or service people didn’t want.

On the other hand, it’s possible to launch a useless product or service again after making some tweaks to it. Bringing out a new version of a product happens all the time. Apple does it with the iPhone every single year. Even successful products can be launched again to increase sales even further.


There are many ways to sell a useless product or service. But you have to make decisions with a long-term view. Damaging your brand through trying to push something people clearly don’t want is not good business. You have to think about the opinions of your customers and the perception of your brand in the years ahead of you.

Have you ever turned a failing product or service around?

Image: Young businesswoman hard at work at her desk writing notes on a pad from her laptop computer with analytical charts and graphs in front of her, high angle view

Victoria Heckstall

Victoria Heckstall

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